Taking the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV4) vaccination is not linked with increased risk of autoimmune disorders in girls, according to researchers. Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted disease worldwide, affecting 50 per cent to 75 per cent of sexually active people.
The HPV4 vaccine is effective at protecting against 90 per cent of the strains that cause cervical and anal cancer. While several studies have indicated the safety of the vaccine, there have been concerns about a possible link to autoimmune disorders as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
“Despite demonstrated effectiveness in real-world settings, concerns continue to persist regarding the safety of the HPV4 vaccine. In light of these concerns, we wanted to study the HPV4 vaccination,” said Jeffrey Kwong, senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES)- Canada-based non-profit.
For the study, published in the journal in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), the team looked at data on 290,939 girls aged 12 to 17 years in Ontario. Of the total 180,819 girls who received the HPV4 vaccination in school-based clinics, there were 681 diagnosed cases of autoimmune disorders between one week and two months after vaccination.
This rate is consistent with the general rate of diagnosed cases in this age group and adds to the body of evidence for the safety of the vaccine.
“These findings add to the body of evidence on the safety of the HPV4 vaccine and should reassure parents and health care providers,” noted Linda Levesque, from the University of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada.